CHOCOLATE By John Scalzi Chocolate Is God's Way Of Reminding Men How Inadequate They Are.

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CHOCOLATE By John Scalzi
Chocolate is God's way of reminding men how inadequate they are. I am
vividly confronted with this fact every time my wife and I go out to a
When it gets to dessert, my wife usually orders the most chocolate-saturated
dessert possible: It's the one called "Unstoppable Double-Fudge Chocolate
Mudslide Explosion" or some such thing. I always wonder why anyone would
want to eat anything that promises a catastrophic natural disaster in your
The dark brown monstrosity arrives at the table, and my wife takes the first
bite. Before the fork is even removed from her mouth, a small moan escapes
her lips. Her eyes, previously perfectly aligned, first cross slightly and
then faze completely, pupils dilating in pure chocolate pleasure before the
eyelids clamp down in ecstasy. The hand not holding the fork clenches into a
fist and starts pounding the table. The silverware rattles.
After about six minutes of this, she finally manages to swallow the bite,
realign her eyes, and take the next shuttle back from whatever
transcendental plane she's been visiting. Slowly, her sphere of
consciousness expands to include me, her husband, her life-long mate, her
presumed partner in all things ecstatic.
"Hey, this is pretty good," she'll say. "You want some?"
No, I don't. I want nothing to do with an object that does to my wife in one
bite what I've worked for an entire relationship to achieve. It wouldn't do
any good, anyway. Men just don't have the same relationship with chocolate
that women do. It's not even close. I wandered around the office today and
asked men -- "Chocolate. Your thoughts?" -- and the result was always the
same. First, a confused look as to why they're being asked about something
so trivial, and then some lame, obvious statement: "'s brown?"
Ask women the same question, and you get responses like "The ONLY food
group," "ESSENTIAL to life as we know it," and the ultimate casual swipe at
every member of the Y-chromosome brigade, "better than sex." Ouch. Some
women will try to make up for that last one by quickly adding that chocolate
is supposed to be an aphrodisiac.
Uh-huh. Chocolate certainly increases desire; problem is the desire is
usually for more chocolate. The best a guy can do is buy a box of chocolates
and hope he'll be considered somewhere between the cherry truffle and the
strawberry nougat.
Don't get me wrong. Guys like chocolate just fine; it's just not essential
to life as we know it.
Respiration is essential to life as we know it; chocolate is simply one of
those nice little bonuses you get. We won't usually pass it up if it's
offered, but I don't know too many guys who would get substantially worked
up if it were to suddenly disappear from the face of the earth (ironic in a
way, as back in the days of the Aztecs, only men were allowed to have the
stuff). When I eat a chocolate dessert, I enjoy it, yes. My world view
doesn't narrow to include only the plate that it's on.
Maybe we're missing something. On the other hand, we don't have to pick up
our silverware from the floor after we're done with our tiramisu. Life is
about trade-offs like that. All I know is that come Valentine's Day,
chocolate will be among the things I offer my wife. I can't truly appreciate
it, but I can truly appreciate what it does for her. Which is close enough.